On March 24, Terrence Cody, 27, former defensive tackle for The Baltimore Ravens, was sentenced to nine months behind bars after being convicted of “multiple misdemeanors in connection with the death of his dog Taz, as well as two misdemeanor drug charges,” according to The Baltimore Sun. Cody, having been found guilty of those animal cruelty charges last November, was convicted today. He’ll be doing his time in the Baltimore County Detention Center.
Prosecutors say that Cody and his girlfriend, Kourtney J. Kelley, 28, starved the Canary mastiff to death. Cody could have been sentenced to up to two years in prison. Kelley, found guilty on five counts of animal neglect, was sentenced in February to 60 days in jail.
Animal cruelty charges were filed against Cody when his dog died only hours after the former defensive tackle brought him to a vet’s office. Reportedly, Taz was in such bad shape and so emaciated “hospital employees testified that they thought it was already dead when Cody brought the dog in for treatment,” according to Bal.247.sports.
One month after Taz died, Cody was indicted on charges of aggravated animal cruelty, neglect, illegal possession of an alligator and possession of marijuana. Felony animal cruelty charges were dismissed against him last November. His nine month prison sentence today was based on the remaining misdemeanor charges for which he was convicted.
During his trial, Cody took the stand in his own defense as his defense attorney tried to propose that the free NFL agent “had no intention of abusing him and has been distraught since losing his beloved dog,” according to WBAL-TV in Baltimore. Prosecutors painted a different picture though.
“Every night they came home and saw their dog dying.”
“Every night, they came home and saw their dog crying and begging for food, and at the end, the dog is eating bones and trash to survive.” ~ Adam Lippe, Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney per WBAL
Martha Smith Blackmore, a forensic veterinarian, testified as an expert witness that the animal suffered horribly in the days leading up to his demise and was starved for at least four to six weeks before he finally died. At his full weight, Taz should have weighed about 100 pounds. He weighed 50 pounds when he died. CBS News in Baltimore quoted Blackmore as testifying that “It was clear that this dog had been very badly neglected for a long period of time.”
Cody started with the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 as a second-round pick. He was released by the team in 2015 when the animal cruelty charges surfaced.